The Homer Simpletons
Home Ultra Scrooge HT New Oaks Pepper Shakers Router Guide The Homer Simpletons

Here's a pair of speakers that Homer Simpson might drool over. After I had completed them, I began to appreciate all the similarities between theses speakers and Homer. They are big, cheap and stupid. They both walk a different path from the established norm and when either of them speak, people either cringe or smile.

The woofers are a pair of cheap 10" Pioneer OEM buyouts from Parts Express (now out of stock) purchased back in '03. As I recall they cost about $8 each. The tweeters are more Pioneer OEM stock, this time from MCM at $5 a piece. They are a 6 ohm, 1.5" dia. fabric dome tweeter that I also used on my Pepper Shakers. They are a decent, easy listening tweeter that nosedives in frequencies above 10K so they're not terribly detailed.

I played for months on and off, modeling various crossovers in Speaker Workshop and never got anything that looked decent. It seemed like the more complex I made the crossover, the worse the frequency response got.  I had all but given up on these speakers ever working together when I decided to start from no crossover and begin adding components one at a time to see how each change modeled out. My first item to add was a 6.8uF capacitor to the tweeter. Hey! Not bad other than that dip in response about 1500Hz. I inverted the tweeter polarity and Bingo! I wuz done.

Now the enclosures are equally absurd. They are BIG. 

4' High X 12" Wide X 14" Deep. Roughly 4.88 cubic feet of internal volume.  Running the woofer specs through WinISD showed the need for lots of box size to achieve good bass response, so I obliged with a big sealed box. I tried a vented setup but the result in WinISD showed I would need an even bigger box .

So I built the big enclosures and put it all together and . . . I was not pleased with the results. Decent mids and OK upper, but I was expecting a nice, big, full bottom end and it just wasn't there. I stuck these losers in the corner of the garage and considered how I might cut up the cabinets for other projects.

After a while I decided to give them one more chance. I wanted them to reward me with bigger, better bass so I ran WinISD one more time and started playing with ports. Since these speakers were big and dumb, why not ports that were big and dumb. I tried a 6" diameter port of various lengths and settled on something between 5" and 6" in length. It made a nice bass boost hump in response just where it was needed. OK, now where do I get something cheap (or free) that's  6" diameter ??? Why out in the greenhouse, of course! Just grab a couple of discarded 6" plastic flower pots. The kind that are so cheap they are meant to be tossed out after you put the plant in the ground.

No need to worry about "port whistling" here.

I cut off the bottoms and hot glued some grill cloth on the big end. I carefully cut the holes in the front of the speakers so that the flower pots, I mean ports, just press into place. And then to keep things completely non-conforming, I left in all the fiberfill lining and stuffing that I had originally used because they were supposed to be a sealed enclosure not a vented one. I suppose that because of this there may be some "stuffed pipe" characteristics to these speakers. The only thing you can hear from the ports when they are playing is deep, low bass frequencies. Just what was needed.

While these Homers ended up being very pleasant speakers indeed, they are far from perfect and I now understand about enclosure size and its relevance to power handling. Smaller box sizes allow for higher power levels. These big boys are total wimps when you crank up the loud knob. At low to moderate power levels they sound great, but if you want to "crank it up" , fugiddaboudit. They'll only play so just loud and anything above that is distortion.  They simply won't go beyond a certain level of work - just line Homer!